Peak hour ScotRail fares scrapped for six months trial period

Fares at peak hours from Helensburgh, Dumbarton and other local stations will no longer carry a peak hours tariff.

By Lucy Ashton

Peak ScotRail fares have been scrapped for six months in a bid to encourage more people to travel by train.

The Scottish Government-funded project began on Monday and allows customers to travel all day on off-peak fares until the end of March 2024.

ScotRail said the trial will see huge savings across the country, with fares on the main route between Edinburgh and Glasgow coming down from £28.90 to £14.90.

The fare from Perth to Dundee will drop from £14.40 to £9.90 and the ticket price from Glasgow to Stirling will fall from £16.10 to £9.60.

Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, pictured with Dame Jackie Baillie and commuters at Cardross railway station.

said: “Everyone across ScotRail has been working flat out to make sure everything is in place for the start of the hugely exciting trial and all ticketing systems are now up to date.

“That means customers can now start to plan their journeys and check to see what impact the changes will have on the cost of travel for them.

“We are looking forward to a successful trial and we hope to see as many people as possibly choose rail travel instead of using the car.”

The Scottish Government said it will carefully consider the impact of the pilot and the long-term sustainability of such a proposition before committing to any reinstatement of the scheme after March 29, 2024.

Nationalised rail operator ScotRail said the project, said to be the first of its kind in the UK rail industry, will support the Scottish Government’s ambition to achieve net-zero, providing more people with the opportunity to use trains as their primary form of transport.

First Minister Humza Yousaf previously said the Government has budgeted “around £15m” for the six-month pilot.

There are some routes where no off-peak fare exists because the same price is available at any time of the day, and as such customers will not see any change in those areas.

ScotRail said the pandemic resulted in a radical change in the commuter market, with a significant drop in the number of people travelling by train during the traditional peak times.

That market is only 70% of what it was before Covid.

The company expects some trains will be busier during the pilot and will be monitoring services daily.

Transport minister Fiona Hyslop said: “The Programme for Government makes clear our commitment to encourage a shift towards sustainable transport.

“We know that there is much to be done in encouraging people back to rail if we are to achieve our net zero targets.

“This peak fare removal pilot is aimed at achieving this by making ticketing simpler with off-peak fares valid all day.

“This is an exciting and unique opportunity to encourage more people to choose a safe, reliable, and greener form of public transport.”

Balloch railway station.

One comment

  1. The logic of making people pay more to go to work defied logic.

    6.00am to 10am and 4.00pm to 8.00pm is the key time when folks need to travel to and from work.

    If peak travel has dropped by 30% then potentially thirty percent less people going to work or travelling by car. But not everyone has a car.

    That most certainly is no success story. An economic disaster in fact. But truly, who needs to work, taxing folks to go to work makes more sense.

    All part and parcel of a economy going down the pan. But consider this.

    In London if just 30% of people ditched the tube and used a car instead that would generate 1.5m car journeys a day. And trains travelling empty makes no sense!

    Cancelling peak fares was long overdue. But let us give credit where credit is due. Thatcher privatised the trains like she did with the buses.

    Privatised transport has been a disaster. However, recently the Scottish Government brought Scotrail back into public ownership. And that, together with the removal of peak fares is a step in the right direction – even though it took a 30% collapse to bring about the change.

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